As Marie Kondo inspires the nation with her hit Netflix series “Tidying Up,’’ more people are talking about organizing and de-cluttering.
Jody Adams, a certified professional organizer who’s been in the business since 2001, has seen this before.
“I think of TLC with Peter Walsh and the ‘Clean Sweep’ show and books,’’ said Adams, owner of In Its Place, a home and office organizing service that serves communities throughout southwestern Pennsylvania.
“Clean Sweep’’ ran on TLC network from 2003-05 and used an organizer and designer to help people clean out rooms in their houses. Walsh, who wrote books such as 2004’s “How to Organize (Just About ) Everything,’’ served as the show’s organizer.
Kondo is an organizing consultant who wrote the 2011 bestseller “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’’ and now stars in the Netflix series “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.’’
Adams said, “Everybody has clutter. It’s one of the top five New Year’s resolutions.’’
Spring is also a time when people are more likely to tackle organizing projects that require a lot of work, such as the garage, attic and basement.
“To me, you can de-clutter anytime of the year, but spring is when you open the windows. You have more light and more energy,’’ said Adams. “You look at things from a new perspective. Anytime you have a transition, such as winter into spring, and fall into winter, it’s easier to make changes when it’s supported by things in the natural world.’’
So what spaces in the home are people tackling when they are ready to organize and de-clutter?
Adams said some people choose spring to work in unheated spaces, such as the attic where it might be too hot to work in the summer. Some people are interested in working on living spaces, such as the bedroom and kitchen.
“There’s no hard or fast rule,’’ said Adams of the clients who contact her. “Sometimes it’s the home office or bedroom. Sometimes it’s the whole house.’’
But she noted, “If you are having an issue in one room, there tends to be a domino effect.’’
Adams said people who want their home organized need to decide the way they want it to be and ask what’s going on and why is it not working?
Which leads to the question: why do people have so much stuff?
“There’s lots of reasons. They don’t like to make a mistake so they don’t want to make a decision. They could have inherited things and feel guilty because it’s been in the family or so-and-so gave it to them. It’s the same thing with gifts: some are great and useful and some — as well-intentioned as they are — don’t fit your lifestyle. Some people have a catchall room and they store things in there. They’re not making decisions in the moment or have a place in their home. Some people don’t choose a home for things or organize it in a way that supports their daily life,’’ said Adams. “Some people were never taught and some never learned.’’
Adams said there are different points of view in professional field of organizing that range from minimalists to more.
“It’s not about getting rid of everything,’’ said Adams. “It’s being clear about what you want and what you have around you and what to bring into your home in the first place.’’
Kondo advises people to keep only things that “spark joy’’ in their lives.
“It may not work for some people,’’ said Adams. “Some people love her and some say ‘I don’t think so.’ That’s totally fine. There’s no one way because everyone is different.’’